Sunday, November 13, 2022

Section 8, Co-Starring Dolph Lundgren and Scott Adkins

This outfit does not give away any housing vouchers, but they would be happy to check you into the morgue. Some of their members might very well have been mentally unfit for military service, but they certainly do not see it that way. However, their latest recruit takes issues with their ruthless tactics in Christian Sesma’s Section 8, which releases Tuesday on DVD/BluRay.

After Col. Tom Mason saved his butt in Afghanistan, Jake Atherton settled down with his family, but struggled to make ends meet working in his Uncle Earl’s garage. Then, it was all taken away from him, when he got into a scuffle with Fresh, a vicious gang-leader. Fresh killed Atherton’s wife and son, so he killed Fresh. Naturally, the LA DA prosecuted Atherton to the full extent of the law, because he has to protect his constituents (like Fresh). However, the mysterious Sam Ramsey offers him a deal Atherton cannot refuse—yet his instincts tell him he should anyway.

Suddenly, Atherton is performing some really dirty off-the-books jobs as a member of Section 8. Frankly, his handler, Liza Mueller is the only one who does not strike Atherton as a complete psychopath. However, when he goes rogue, Ramsey calls in hired-killer Leonard Locke, a stone-cold sociopath, to hunt him down.

Section 8 is a bargain-basement knock-off of The Terminal List. It really isn’t much to speak of, but it is elevated to some extent, by Dolph Lundgren and Scott Adkins (seriously, you knew I’d go there, right?). Lundgren has the perfect gritty gravitas for Mason, who turns out to be the film’s most interesting character. On the other hand, Adkins’ Locke is basically an underwritten cartoon villain, but his fight scenes are terrific—and that is really what we look for in a film like this.

Unfortunately, Ryan Kwanten is bland and uninvolving as Atherton, but he has a few nice scenes with Mickey Rourke, as Uncle Earl (yes, there are three
Expendables alumni in this movie). Dermot Mulroney also makes a fairly dull villain playing Ramsey. Frankly, Robert LoSardo is much more effective as the scummy fresh.

The VOD-action Rushmore of Lundgren, Adkins, Rourke, and LoSardo do what they can, but Chad Law & Josh Ridgway’s script is weak and there is not much happening from anyone beyond the above mentioned. Sesma’s fight scenes are nicely framed, but the story is underwhelming and there are glaring continuity errors. (At one point, Atherton is dispatched to take down a corrupt state senator, who boasts about fighting for his district in DC.) Not recommended (unless you can fast-forward to Adkins’ fights),
Section 8 releases Tuesday (11/15) on DVD.